First fintech consortium

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Manama

Three leading Bahrain-based financial institutions have come together to create the world’s first fintech consortium to develop Sharia-compliant banking solutions. Called Algo Bahrain, the consortium includes industry majors such as Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG), Kuwait Finance House-Bahrain (KFH-B) and Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) as founding members. The consortium was announced during a Press conference held on the sidelines of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2017) at ART Rotana Amwaj Islands yesterday. Eight more banks are expected to join the consortium in phase 2, said Ashar Nazim, who will be working as an adviser at Algo. Through a collaborative approach, Algo Bahrain will enable Islamic banks to research, innovate and operationalise fintech solutions in a cost-effective and accelerated way promoting financial inclusion, creating new employment opportunities and channelling fresh investment to critical economic sectors. It will aim to roll out 15 fintech platforms within five years and the first one will be a person-to-business crowd funding platform for small and medium enterprises, added Mr Nazim. The Central Bank of Bahrain has already issued regulations for the crowd funding businesses in anticipation of the changes to the industry.—Agencies